Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bainbridge High athletes Harris and Braswell conquer Crowdis 5K

Chase HarrisBainbridge High cross-country runners carried home the titles from the 2013 Dr. James H. Crowdis 5K in Blakely, Georgia on July 13. Junior-to-be Chase Harris captures the overall championship, winning the 3.1-mile race in 17:34. Senior-to-be Paige Braswell was the fastest female finisher, placing 13th overall in 21:14. Greg Waddell of Bainbridge, Georgia was the top master in the race, finishing fourth overall in 18:57. Taking female master runner honors, Blakely's Debbie Wittmer was 14th in 21:20.

The theme on race-day morning was "Christmas in July," as Christmas carols blared from speakers around the grounds of Blakely United Methodist Church, the site of the start and finish of the 17th Crowdis 5K. Signs around the course read "Think Snow" and "Merry Crowdis to All!" There may have been something to it, because temperatures that morning were slightly lower than average for midsummer--good news for the 88 athletes in the field.

Chase HarrisChase Harris took the lead almost immediately after the 8:15 AM start, with Paul Guyas of Tallahassee on his heels and another Tallahassee runner, Reikan Lin, trailing in third. At the halfway point, nothing had changed about the front two runners except for the gap between them--it was longer. Reikan Lin had dropped out of third place, though, passed by Tallahassee's Jack Redwing. On the road back to the First Methodist Church and the finish line, Harris increased his margin over Guyas to nearly 200 meters, crossing the finish line with a final time of 17:34 and the win. Guyas followed, runner-up in 18:14. Redwing ran 18:26 to hang on to third, while Bainbridge master Greg Waddell ran down Reikan Lin during the second half of the race to finish fourth in 18:57. Lin was fifth in 19:17.

Paige BraswellThe defending female champion of the Crowdis 5K, Debra Hunter, was on the starting line in Blakely on July 13, but after the first kilometer of racing it was Blakely master runner Debbie Wittmer who was leading the women's competition. Bainbridge High's Paige Braswell was about ten seconds behind Wittmer at that point, and it wasn't much closer halfway through the run. But during the second half of the 5K, Braswell started to close on Wittmer. With about half a kilometer left in the race the Bainbridge High runner took over. It stayed close, but Braswell beat Wittmer to the finish line, 21:14 to 21:20, the two runners finishing 13th and 14th overall. 2012 winner Debra Hunter was the third woman to finish, coming in 27th overall with a 24:11.

It was the second year of the revival of the Dr. James H. Crowdis 5K, which was run annually 15 times from 1981 to 1995 and now twice from 2012 to 2013 for a total of 17. During that history, the Crowdis Run has been held in March, May, September, and now July. Watch the calendar carefully if you want to catch the 18th Crowdis 5K in 2014!

Top Ten Males, 2013 Dr. James H. Crowdis 5K
    Paul Guyas
  1. 17:34 ~ Chase Harris (M, 16) Bainbridge, GA
  2. 18:14 ~ Paul Guyas (M, 35) Tallahassee, FL
  3. 18:26 ~ Jack Redwing (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  4. 18:57 ~ Greg Waddell (M, 47) Bainbridge, GA
  5. 19:17 ~ Reikan Lin (M, 23) Tallahassee, FL
  6. 19:31 ~ Phillip Wilbourn (M, 33) Blakely, GA
  7. 19:36 ~ Anthony Kuchera (M, 27) Tallahassee, FL
  8. 20:08 ~ Bennett Enfinger (M, 15) Bainbridge, GA
  9. 20:28 ~ Caleb Harris (M, 12) Bainbridge, GA
  10. 20:35 ~ Daniel Graham (M, 41) Bainbridge, GA

Top Ten Females, 2013 Dr. James H. Crowdis 5K
    Debbie Wittmer
  1. 21:14 ~ Paige Braswell (F, 17) Bainbridge, GA
  2. 21:20 ~ Debbie Wittmer (F, 50) Blakely, GA
  3. 24:11 ~ Debra Hunter (F, 40) Suwanee, GA
  4. 24:15 ~ Val Lichner (F, 54) Bonifay, FL
  5. 27:11 ~ Meg Houston (F, 9) Blakely, GA
  6. 28:02 ~ Jennifer Drake (F, 40) Dothan, AL
  7. 28:03 ~ Kate Donlon (F, 22) Atlanta, GA
  8. 28:40 ~ Sarah Beth Binford (F, 25) Dothan, AL
  9. 29:05 ~ Tara Whaley (F, 38) Dothan, AL
  10. 29:26 ~ Alex Byrd (F, 24) Climax, GA

James H. Crowdis Run 5K Champions, 1981-2013
28 MAR 198117:14, Tony Gilbert21:09, Connie Cullifer
27 MAR 198217:20, Brian Doby, Connie Cullifer108
12 MAR 198316:19, Kirk Thomas20:10, Maurine Farley143
10 MAR 198415:50, Louis Floyd21:16, Ann Lee139
9 MAR 198515:46, Mike Mead19:54, Donna Duty179
9 MAR 198615:31, Mike Mead19:36, Donna Duty198
14 MAR 198715:20, Lee Fidler19:36, Donna Duty158
12 MAR 198815:53, John Devine18:59, Janice Hochstein151
11 MAR 198914:59, Matt Parker17:03, Kim Byrd178
10 MAR 199015:05, Matt Parker19:47, Donna Duty152
9 MAR 199115:36, Matt Parker18:29, Connie Robertson130
14 MAR 199214:52, Paul Waldron20:09, Janice Hochstein102
15 MAY 1993*16:54, Myles Gibson20:22, Donna Duty65
12 MAR 199416:51, Scott Hoxie18:32, Connie Robertson97
11 MAR 199516:54, Dale Thomas19:19, Connie Robertson105
No race held, 1996-2011
3 SEP 201218:27, Jonathon Davison23:13, Debra Hunter87
13 JUL 201317:34, Chase Harris21:14, Paige Braswell88

* The 1993 race was originally scheduled for March 13, but was one of several
races in the region that day postponed by a severe winter storm

A huge "thank you" to Larry Dykes of the Dothan Runners for his help in
filling many blanks in the above history


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